What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture Chart

Acupuncture Chart

Acupuncture therapy is a method of treatment in which very thin and flexible needles are inserted into points on the body. There are pathways, called meridians, along which the body’s energy, or qi (pronounced chee), can circulate and provide warmth, nutrients, protection, and promote the movement of blood and fluids throughout the body. These processes keep our bodies running smoothly and they make sure each part of the body carries out its designated role in the system, as well as keep each cell healthy and vital.

We are born with this energy, and maintain it by the food we eat, the rest we get, and other essential things we do to keep us alive and healthy. The meridians are like rivers of energy traveling around the body. They lie along the surface just under the skin, and dive deep inside the body to connect with our organs, glands, bones, and even the brain and spinal cord. This is how, for example, one can effectively treat nausea by inserting a needle into the leg.

The acupuncture points found along these rivers are like pools of energy, where  accessing and guiding this energy is the most productive. Some of these acupuncture points are close to the surface of the skin, while others are between muscles or bones; their exact location depends on which part of the body we are looking at and what we are treating. Stimulating these pools of energy sends signals to the brain to heal and regulate activity in the associated area or along the meridian pathway. Sometimes this energy gets ‘stuck’ in a certain area along the meridian. Sometimes we have too much heat in an area of the body, and sometimes we do not have enough heat.  Because the body is designed to be resilient and regulate itself to stay in a state of homeostasis, this imbalance is corrected most of the time in healthy bodies. However, when the imbalance continues to go unchecked, pain, disease, and other ailments begin to appear and our internal ‘batteries’ can become depleted as the system tries in vain to equilibrate.

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